vegan | gluten-free | grain-free | easy | year-round
Two brothers from New England, both chefs but on different paths for years doing everything from opening restaurants, catering to the stars, being a part of Whole Foods, organic farming, teaching, and collaborating with medical professionals, have joined together to create an innovative approach to eating what they call "good-for-you food that tastes so good you think it must be bad for you." They are Derek Sarno and Chad Sarno, and thankfully they put their innovative approach in cookbook form to make it extra easy for us to reference: The Wicked Healthy Cookbook. They encourage an 80/20 perspective: "Shoot for 80% healthy and 20% wicked and you'll be 100% sexy." Let's be real. For most of us (us Americans, particularly), this approach means a huuuuge step up in the quality of what we consume. This book is a great introduction to eating more plants for those who struggle to get them on their plate.
I've been eagerly awaiting the release of this book, especially because Chad Sarno led the Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Cooking course that gave me the skills and motivation to do what I do here. He's an excellent teacher with vast knowledge when it comes to preparing delicious plant-based food. Both Chad and Derek are known for being creative in the kitchen, so I knew this book would be something special. By combining forces, they have knocked it out of the park. I would say pretty much all the food in this cookbook is comfort food, but elevated. There actually are a lot of ball-park type recipes here, like street tacos, burgers, and pizzas - but far beyond any ball-park food I've ever had. When you're wanting to feel like you're dining at the finest restaurant, there are recipes for that too, like Spring Agnolotti with Favas, Mint, and Sherry Cream, including a recipe for the pasta dough. How about having a Mac & Cheese Bar? Barbecued Maitake Steaks? Lobstah Mushroom Chowdah? Amazing and new to the tongue, yet familiar at the same time - and actually realistic to think that we can make these dishes at home! As they say in the book, "Healthy food doesn't have to taste like shit." I love their sense of humor, but I especially love what they can do with plants.
When I received my copy, it took me a long while to choose a recipe to start with. I just wanted to keep looking through the book and drooling over each recipe! After much deliberation, though, I was happy with my choice: King Satay with Spicy Peanut-Ginger Sauce. I was fascinated, wondering how they possibly could've made the satay skewers pictured in the book from mushrooms. What I discovered: it's really pretty easy. I had just never experienced king oyster mushrooms before (and I'm a mushroom lover) but when the recipe called for them I easily found them at the largest of my nearby grocery stores. I've noticed there are sources online, too, if you just google them. You likely have never had mushrooms like this, so I encourage you to try this recipe even if you haven't liked mushrooms in the past. You can find the full recipe below; see for yourself how mind-blowing it is! That's what I love about this book: it's opened up yet another new pathway to delicious and nutritious food that I'd never considered before. Thanks, Sarno brothers!
The Wicked Healthy Cookbook is now available at your local bookstore, or you can purchase by clicking "Buy on Amazon" above, which will take you directly there. If you decide to purchase, Amazon will provide Beautiful Ingredient with a small "finder's fee" at no extra cost to you. The same is true for the helpful kitchen tools below the recipe. Thanks for your support!
KING SATAY WITH SPICY PEANUT-GINGER SAUCE RECIPE
from The Wicked Healthy Cookbook by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim
vegan | gluten-free | grain-free | easy | year-round
Meaty king oyster mushrooms make this dish a win-win for meat eaters and plant eaters. The mushrooms have long, thick stems that you slice into thick strips, skewer, then roast to make satay. Yes! A creamy, gingery peanut sauce brings it all together.
PREP TIME: about 15 minutes | MARINATE TIME: an hour minimum | COOK TIME: about 30 minutes | TOTAL TIME: about 1 hour 45 minutes
SERVES: 4 as a starter course, or 8 as a pickup appetizer
1 pound king oyster mushrooms
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup water
¼ cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 tablespoon sriracha or chile paste
1 teaspoon hot chile oil
SPICY PEANUT-GINGER SAUCE
1 cup smooth peanut butter
⅓ cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
⅓ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Thai chile, chopped; or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ to 1 cup water
1. FOR THE MUSHROOMS: Slice off the mushroom caps and save for another use (see Pro Tip). Trim the bases so the stems are clean. (In the next steps, you’ll be pressing the mushroom stems to make them thinner, flatter, and more pliable for skewering.)
2. Heat a large heavy pan (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, swirl 3 tablespoons of the oil in the pan to coat the bottom, then add the mushrooms. After a minute or so, use a second heavy pan or a couple of foil-wrapped bricks to weight down and press/sear the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour the water around the mushrooms. (The steam will help soften the mushrooms and flatten the round shape into a squarer shape, which is easier to skewer.) Continue pressing for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the mushrooms over. When the ’shrooms are tender and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes longer, remove them to a work surface. Let cool for 15 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the tamari, agave, sriracha, and hot chile oil to make your marinade.
4. When the mushrooms are cool, slice them lengthwise into strips about ¼ inch thick. Arrange the strips in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush them all over with the marinade, using it all. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Or, if you have time, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The longer you marinate, the more flavor you’ll get.
5. Soak a handful of wooden skewers in water to cover for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Thread each strip of mushroom on a skewer, making as many ribbon folds as possible without breaking the mushroom. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and bake in the hot oven until lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes.
6. FOR THE SAUCE: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and buzz it all up until smooth. For a thicker sauce, use less water; use more to make it thinner.
7. Drizzle a little sauce over the skewers before serving with the remainder on the side for dipping.
• Switch it up and use almond butter or cashew butter in the sauce instead of peanut butter.
• Garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped chiles, and lemon or lime wedges for squeezing.
Use the leftover mushroom caps to make Mushroom Stock (page 284) or add them to the filling for Porcini Ravioli (page 211). Or just sauté them, toss with tamari, and add to your favorite noodle bowl.
Excerpted from the book THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim. Copyright © 2018 by Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
HELPFUL TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE:
LODGE CAST-IRON 12-INCH SKILLET
STAINLESS STEEL BAKING SHEETS